Another in my series on golf etiquette, this one addresses numerous miscellaneous etiquette issues.
If you hit your drive or tee shot into the rough or trees and you suspect that there is a possibility it might be lost or out of bounds, play a second or provisional ball. When you get to the spot where you suspect your initial ball ended up, you have 5 minutes to try and find your ball, if you cannot find it in those 5 minutes you must declare the ball lost and continue play with your provisional ball.
In the interest of everyone’s safety never hit if there is a chance of your ball reaching the group ahead of you, anytime you hit a shot that you think has even a remote chance of hitting other people on the course yell “fore” immediately, and make a point of apologising to any players that your ball lands close to.
Frustration is expected when you play golf, but outbursts of temper are quite another thing. Yelling, screaming, throwing clubs or otherwise making a fool of yourself should be avoided, in some cases they can be dangerous to both other players and yourself.
As a golfer it is your responsibility to learn the rules of golf, and to understand them. Typically study up the ones that are most likely to come in to play in your round, I recommend all golfers fully understand the Out of bounds, unplayable lies, water hazard, sand hazard, cart path and lost ball rules.
At all times please avoid slow play! If your group is not keeping up with the group in front of you try to walk at a quicker pace between shots. I find it also helps to start planning your next shot as you approach your ball, take the strength and direction of the wind into account. As you get to your ball, check the lie, visualise your shot and then with the minimum of time wasting play your shot. The process from selecting your club to actually playing your shot should not take longer than 45 seconds, it helps to remember this when you are on a driving range and practicing to keep this process under 45 seconds. IF for some reason you are not ready to play when it is your turn, encourage one of the other players in your group to play ahead of you.